Cold laser therapy holds a place in human and animal pain management and wound healing as non-invasive, effective therapy. Veterinary patients benefit from its ability to promote healing and relieve pain in surgical incisions, stomatitis, extractions, degenerative joint disease, intervertebral disc disease, acral lick granulomas, anal sac tumors, and rhinitis. The benefit to patients includes the decreased need for anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics. As veterinarians compete with on-line pharmacies, this face-to-face modality increases patient comfort and healing, client trust and reliance, and veterinary success and satisfaction.
Furthermore, cold laser therapy empowers veterinary technicians in a modality that they can administer and gives them the opportunity to earn praise from clients. Veterinarians and technicians can learn the principles and techniques in a few training sessions. Veterinarians diagnose the animal’s conditions and prescribe the therapy for technicians to administer. Laser sessions average 15 minutes or less, and occur frequently in the first few weeks and either heal the wound or abscess or continue at a regular interval for chronic pain management.
Veterinarians certified in acupuncture can implement laser acupuncture for patients who are needle phobic or too restless for traditional needle therapy. Hospitals that offer both modalities have a tremendous advantage in pain management for patients, therefore inspiring great trust from clients.
Cold laser therapy and acupuncture maximize options for analgesia and healing in general practice. The initial investment in acupuncture training is in time and education for the veterinarian. The initial investment in laser is in the equipment. The beauty of cold laser is that every medical person in the hospital can learn it quickly and easily. The general public is perhaps more readily accepting of the non-invasive nature of cold laser and aware of its use in human physical therapy. Veterinary hospital open houses to introduce cold laser treatments offer good business opportunities for the veterinary staff to demonstrate the comfort of the modality and to socialize with clients.
Even as veterinarians find ways to streamline inventory and pricing to compete with on-line pharmacies, hospitals that offer hands-on treatments with acupuncture and/or laser keep clients and patients walking in the door.
This blog is part 3 in a three-part series on acupuncture and laser in general practice.
Emily L. Elliot, VMD